Skip to main content

Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

fear from 80,000,000 broken and disunited Germans ? As regards Poland,
it is therefore quite unnecessary for the Russians, except by friendly
negotiation, to extend their land and to seek for " Naboth's vineyard "
at the expense of a smaller neighbour.
I now turn to the question of independence. I agree that it is of more
importance even than boundaries, unless the boundaries are so shrunk
that they hamper independence. I think every one realises that the most
significant thing proposed in regard to the future provisional Government
of Poland is that they are to have what appears to be an extension of the
present Government of Poland, with no reference to the London Government
at all. If that means anything, it surely means that the new Government of
Poland will be based upon Lublin. That is the view of Lublin. I venture
to quote from the Lublin radio of 15th February. After the Yalta proposals
had come through, they welcomed them and said that the fact that the
provisional Polish Government of national unity was to be based upon the
present provisional Polish Government showed confidence in its present
authority in Poland, since the London emigre Government had not even
been mentioned. That was the reaction of Lublin. What was the reaction
of Moscow ? The European service of " Red Star "—and, as we know,
what any paper says in Moscow is the view of the Moscow Government
more than what any paper says in London is the view of our own Govern-
ment—said3 on 16th February, through its commentator :
"Roosevelt's personal representative stressed the democratic Government
of Warsaw as the only Government of Poland, and on its basis the
Provisional Polish Government of national unity will be formed, which
will be recognised immediately by the Allied Powers/'
We may be told by the Foreign Secretary, as I hope we shall be, that he
does not propose to base the new Government upon Lublin, but I venture
to suggest that there must have been misunderstanding at Yalta, if the
Lublin Press and the Soviet Press have come to an erroneous conclusion
that the basis of the new Government of Poland is to be Lublin. The
Prime Minister went further. He made one astounding statement. He
said that the Poles in London should have been wise and taken the advice
of the British Government a year ago, in which case there would have
been no Lublin. What does that mean ? It means, as the Prime Minister
knows and we all know, that Lublin is a fake and nothing more. Yet that
fake, so far as we can read from Yalta—although there may be some safe-
guards—is supposed by both Lublin and Moscow to be the foundation of
the new Government. . . .
Reference has been made to the decree which was pronounced by M.
Bierut on 17th January outlawing the Polish Home Army and denouncing
not only the Prime Minister of the Polish Government in London and
General Bor-Komorovski as criminal adventurers, but dealing in a very
rough-handed manner with M. Mikolajczyk. I should have thought that
if at Yalta it was desired to get the support and the friendship ^ of Poles
both in this country and serving abroad, if there was one way in which
that could have been assisted it would have been by the rescinding of that
decree. Are we to hear that perhaps it will be rescinded ? I am sure the
Foreign Secretary wishes it to be. But why has it not been rescinded ?
That is not all. Not only have these criticisms been passed in the Russian
Press, but even since this Conference M. Mikolajczyk himself has been
held up to ridicule. I do not want to give too many quotations, but I think
I ought to make one or two. There was a despatch from Lublin on
3rd January this year—this was before Yalta—from Henry Shapiro, a war
correspondent. He said that there could be no question of compromise